As the first knock out stage of this noble global competition comes to a close, I have been ruminating over the key talent lessons it brings and how you and I can learn from the teams.
Here is what I learned
Keeping the same staff composite for a very long time without refreshing your talent pool is a performance risk. In fact, productivity will suffer if you fail to invest in new talent acquisition and employee development.
A case in point
Once upon a time, I mean in the last few days, the tournament favorite, Argentina was paired against France for the round of 16 stage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. All eyes were on the experience legs of Lionel Messi, Higuain, Mascerano, Aguero, and Di Maria. France came with the fresh and trusted talent of Paul Pogba, Mbappe, Kante, Griezmann and Giroud.
According to The Telegraph,
“Of the main contenders to win the competition, Argentina and Brazil have the oldest squads. At the other end of the spectrum, Nigeria have the youngest squad, closely followed by France…”
In that penultimate match, the average age of the Argentine team was 29.4 as against France’s 25 . In sport, the Argentine average age is nothing short of self-sabotage. It’s like running a company with 90% 70 year olds! Yea, work will get down, but at the pace and convenience of the blessed old and grown staff.
You don’t want to go down that road because even the blind can see the outcome. That was what Argentina did. Little wonder France came on top leaving Argentina trailing far behind. Despite the talent of Lionel Messi, France prevailed with a 4:3 final goal tally. Thanks to a careful blend of youth and experience in their squad.
My point is it doesn’t matter how much goodwill and brand asset your company has garnered over the years; when it’s time to stand up and perform, those organizations with balanced staff composite will always win.
If you doubt my logic, consider team Spain, another tournament favorite who played with bags of pain.
Put a Cap on Experience?
When it comes to high intensity energy-sapping work, experience is not enough! Energy, youthful vibrancy combined with experience will always deliver the goods. Business is not sport, yes we know. But business is work and energy is the ability to do it. Whatever your line of business, a right combination of youth and experience, passion and temperance will give you the winning edge.
Any other vital Lesson?
Yes, there is one more. Another vital lesson is the need for top management foresight and support for their teams. Where management knows what to do and are willing to provide the needed support to get team running at full throttle, it become easy to deliver results.
France clearly has a better team management with the pedigree of their coach, Didier Deschamps. He played as a defensive midfielder for several clubs, in France, Italy, England and Spain (such as Marseille, Juventus, Chelsea and Valencia, as well as Nantes and Bordeaux).
He won two Ligue 1 titles in 1991 and 1992. Deschamps was part of the Marseille squad that became the first, and so far only, French club to win the UEFA Champions League in 1993.
Question: I have a question for you: In a work team of 6 staffs, how many mature experience hands is ideal? Is it 1 or 2 or 4?
Renewing your staff composite means you start by assessing what you have. Do a critical review of your employee skill set. As a group, do you have what it takes to match and exceed competition? Are your skills at par with the industry? Are they relevant and up to date? If you discover a void or a gap, then something has to give way. You may need new signings, temporary acquisition or just wholesale staff training. Whatever it is, you must fill the void and bridge the gap to remain competitive.
Perhaps you don’t have the resources and skills to carry out a full personnel audit and assess your staff composite; we can help you do that.
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